When coalmining stopped, large industrial areas in the Ruhr district in Germany where abandoned.
Many of these areas had to find a new destination. While decision makers where still thinking of
how to tackle the situation, nature had already decided and many of the abandoned mine areas had
turned into beautiful small forests. Pioneer trees were already taking over and a small scale but
nevertheless interesting example of urban biodiversity was developing. Though the areas are
relatively small, they have the advantage that all the mines used to be connected in the past by
railroads. These tracks, now covered with trees and bushes, form a perfect corridor from one site to
another, contributing to an even richer biodiversity in the so-called “urban forests”. It is only a
matter of time before the first foxes and deer will appear in Rheinelbe.